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External Affairs Ministry confirms meeting of India, Pakistan NSAs in Bangkok

National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. File   | Photo Credit: AFP

The National Security Advisers (NSAs) of India and Pakistan met on December 26 in Bangkok, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) confirmed on Thursday.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said it was part of the mechanism to hold Pakistan accountable for the terrorism that emanated from its territory.

“We raised the issue of cross-border terrorism in those talks because our main issue is how to ensure the safety of our region from the scourge of cross-border terrorism. We have said earlier that talks and terror cannot go together but ‘talks on terror’ can definitely go ahead,” Mr. Kumar said, acknowledging that the NSA-level parleys are part of the ‘operational level talks’ that take place between India and Pakistan, despite the breakdown in the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) that was launched in December 2015.

The ‘talks on terror’ model to engage Pakistan is a break in India’s position that India had taken following the attack on the Pathankot airbase, when New Delhi cancelled the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue (CBD) that was launched by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her visit to Islamabad on December 9, 2015.

A day after Jadhav-family meeting

The confirmation is significant as the MEA had maintained silence on the talks between NSA Ajit Doval and his Pakistani counterpart Lt. Gen. Nasir Jannjua that were reported in the Pakistani and the Indian media last month. The meeting was held a day after the mother and wife of death row prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav met him in Islamabad, but the MEA maintained that the two NSAs did not discuss Jadhav’s case at all.

“This was a predetermined meeting and the date was decided in advance and it had nothing to do with things that were happening at that time,” the spokesperson said to a question on whether the two NSAs discussed the issue of Jadhav. He maintained that the real issue discussed was ‘cross-border terrorism’ from Pakistan that targets India.

Mr. Kumar said the NSA-level metings were part of an “operational-level dialogue” similar to the ones that are held between the DGMOs of both sides and between the border forces of two countries.

Officials indicated that the NSA-level meeting marks a definite trend in which India will raise concerns on cross-border terrorism from Pakistan.


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 2:28:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-confirms-nsas-met-in-bangkok/article22424061.ece

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